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Newbille will seek reelection to City Council

“It has been an honor and pleasure to serve, and I do not take it lightly, ” says Cynthia Newbille, in sharing that she will seek reelection to a 3rd term as the 7th District City Council representative.

“We’ve moved the needle, but there is whole more work to do,” she said, and mentioned the 25th Street/Nine Mile corridor, the redevelopment of Creighton, and the schools, among other other things.

Newbille was first elected to the seat in a 6-way contest in a special election in 2009, and ran unopposed in 2012. Fulton resident Joe Cook has announced his candidacy for the seat in this year’s election.

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Melissa 05/13/2016 at 2:45 PM

good riddance. time to identify someone who will support the voices of CH!

crd 05/13/2016 at 3:19 PM

@1, how exactly do you think she added new or renovated homes and/or businesses? That seems market driven to me. And what scenery are you pointing to that has been upgraded? If it’s in the parks, that would seem to be the work of the Friends Of groups that support our parks. I’m just curious as to what you think she’s actually done, so specifics would be nice to hear, thanks.

jamie 05/13/2016 at 3:50 PM

I second crd’s sentiments on this one. She is the most aloof and inaccessible representative we’ve had. Hopefully, a qualified candidate will emerge and show her the door.

Dubois2 05/13/2016 at 9:02 PM

I’d be curious to hear more specifics as well. Like @3 I have yet to see a reason to credit Dr. Newbille for the renovation of homes and businesses.
Could those of you who support Dr. Newbille please outline some of her actual accomplishments, or simply share the reasons why you do support her?

crd 05/14/2016 at 12:13 AM

@6 thank you.

Juliellen 05/14/2016 at 6:33 AM

Dr. Newbille was instrumental in the Greater Fulton’s Future initiative by coming to many of the work sessions and by getting funding for projects in the budgets over the years. The community established common goals for the future, laying the groundwork for what is already happening here. Many houses in Greater Fulton have been repaired for the residents through that initiative.

She has reserved funding for the Historic Fulton Memorial Park, which is in development.

She supported Stone Brewing, which has sparked much needed investment and attention to Fulton.

Our sidewalks are being improved and our business district has gotten some love.

She supports the proposed Gillies Creek Greenway and other iniatives to safely connect east end residents to the Virginia Capital Trail and the James River.

She has continuously worked with the community to get input on how to improve the BRT line to better serve the residents.

She supported the East End Music Festival to raise money for musical instruments and programs in the schools.

She is working with the Creighton Court residents to improve conditions and opportunities for residents there.

I’m delighted that she is running again as we continue to blossom.

John M 05/14/2016 at 8:42 AM

Cynthia Newbille is not one to trumpet her engagement very well, she’s much more of an engaged academic than a politician like that.

My take is that her main focus is on working to make the more challenged areas of the district more healthy communities – in the most far reaching meaning of that. Thus the support for redeveloping Creighton, for the new grocery store, for Zumba at the Robinson, but also for a new brewery that will bring jobs to the area, and for SEED grants that will bring businesses and jobs even closer.

I give Cynthia a lot of credit for supporting and connecting a lot of the behind-the-scenes process oriented projects that are happening to generally improve the area and specifically targeted at the most needy areas of the district. Every meeting that I go to, she’s there and is actively engaged with whomever is on point for whatever the initiative is.

In talking to people and organizations in the non-profit and government circles, she is about as close to universally well regarded as I can imagine.

My only complaint, and I have this with most of the city’s office holders, is that she could do better about communicating what is going on in the area. I wish that Parker Agelasto would host a seminar and show folks how he does it.

I’m honestly very confused that some folks have a strong reaction against Newbille.

ann 05/14/2016 at 10:21 AM

John, I didn’t know that Agelasto is known for communicating…what’s going on in the area and he deserves praise for that sense of connection and involvement that comes with a response. I’ve been surprised and pleased that over the past few years every time I reach out to council members (and when I do that it’s always to all members but to each member individually and not as part of a ‘batch’) I have always gotten more than just an acknowledgement from him: I’ve received a reply that shows he read what I wrote – and I’ve made it quite clear to him over time I’m not even in his district. On the other hand, over those same years I’ve never received even an acknowledgement from my 7th district rep, much less a reply.

Eric S. Huffstutler 05/14/2016 at 11:33 AM

@10 John… I know that all you mentioned are creditable concerns but also keep in mind that Church Hill is also a very historical section of Richmond as well as the nation. Her track record about conservation, preservation, and renovation is terrible and transparency non existent.

She also avoids her constituents and is non accessible unlike Delores McQuinn use to be. You could call her at her house day or night with a concern and she would follow through. Newbille makes promises of getting back to people and never does. I can name a few incidents with me as well as others I know. Not good P.R.

Then there was the whole nomination debacle with her not living in our district back in 2009, that did not set well right off the bat.

ray 05/14/2016 at 11:39 AM

Me neither, Ann, and that’s a big deal to me and a bunch of other folks I’ve spoken with.

I also think it’s a big deal that Dr. Newbille is one of Dwight Jones biggest allies on Council who supported his efforts to put a stadium in the Bottom. She also voted for the Redskins deal, a corporate give away that has contributed to our schools being underfunded.

Dubois2 05/14/2016 at 2:37 PM

I think my current default position is that anyone in any position of power in the city government during the creation of our recent fiscal morass should probably go. I am however open minded and interested in being convinced otherwise on a case-by-case basis as I educate myself prior to voting.

I haven’t been impressed by some of the details of efforts that I believe she has been involved with — redskins, the fruitless stadium debate, and even early EDFRC efforts — and I’m unsure about other current efforts, namely the Creighton redevelopment plan. I was unable to attend the last meeting re the Creighton redevelopment, but I currently have little-to-no faith that the mid-to-higher half of a mixed-income development in that location and of that scale will actually materialize, leaving a Pruitt-Igoe sort of misstep in its place.

That said, I am far from decided, and would ask of the things that she has already done:
– What part of SEED grants is she involved with? It was my understanding that both seed grants and Zumba are Bon Secours initiatives?
– What role did she play in bringing Stone Brewery to the area?

jean mcdaniel 05/14/2016 at 3:00 PM

Ms Newbille gave as a reason for voting against the Buzzy SUP, ” a change of leadership in the Churh Hill Association “. Apparently she DID NOT pay attention to what was happening at the time!

I have NEVER had her respond to any of my letters or emails. Not an acknowledgement or a written response. Her assistant has responded but only after repeated requests.

Maybe she has done some good behind the scenes. However, I don’t see it and I would actively help in replacing her.

jean mcdaniel 05/14/2016 at 3:07 PM

Ray, Thank you for the above link from Style! Everyone should read it. Special interest groups ( no matter how few in numbers ) rule the City of Richmond. I could give at least three concrete exampliesbut it would’t be posted here.

Mad Dog 05/14/2016 at 4:07 PM

For those who complain, I think we need to have more realistic expectations for city council (and politicians in general perhaps?). She’s faithful, well regarded, no scandals, wants the best for her community. Lots of places (and a few Richmond city council districts) would trade their politicians for her.

Councilwoman Newbille is engaged and has worked positively with tons of different constituents who want lots of different things. The primary challenge in her district is poverty, and she’s working to build healthy communities in really positive ways.

City Council only has a limited amount of power and influence, they don’t drive businesses and renovations (though a bad city council person could certainly stop them, which she hasn’t done).

Side note: That Style Weekly article is missing some really key pieces of information. Like if the Redskins complex been an economic success to date (and what about the next 50 years). And if the school system would have had an increased budget had the Redskins complex not been completed. If the city pays $500k per year, but the associate tax income is $1.5M, then that’s a fine trade (I’m not asserting those numbers, I’m just saying we don’t know).

Either way, that article says very little about Councilwoman Newbille’s effectiveness (and the whole city gov’t for that matter).

Dubois2 05/14/2016 at 8:30 PM

@18 Could you be specific re: “she’s working to build healthy communities in really positive ways”. I’d like to hear more about that. Or better still could you share what, in her 2 previous terms, she accomplished by way of building healthy communities?

dontmincewords 05/15/2016 at 3:31 PM

Exercise equipment in Jefferson Park.


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